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Customized Promotional Giveaways Since 1979

Custom Printed Duffel Bags, Imprinted Duffel Bags

The imprinted duffel bag (sometimes spelled "duffle") has an interesting history.  What started out as a utilitarian, practical piece of luggage has gone through several transformations throughout its history, eventually becoming both a luggage staple and a popular promotional product.  Custom printed duffel bags continue to be an advertising favourite with businesses and event promoters.

The Origin of the Duffel Bag

"Duffel" refers to the type of bag that is cylindrical in shape/barrel shaped.  Today's versions may have handles at one of the bag's ends and are carried in an upright fashion while others have handles along one side, and thus are carried sideways.  They can come in varying sizes, but, like the earliest version, they tend to be on the large side with a big, single compartment for storage of items.

This iconic luggage piece gets its name from the city of Duffel in Belgium.  "Duffel" did not originally refer to the style of the bag but to the fabric from which it was made.  "Duffel" cloth was thick, heavy and durable and perfect for constructing the cylinder-shaped bags.  Over the years the name became more closely associated with the distinctive shape of the bag rather than the fabric.  Today's duffel bags are made from a variety of different fabrics.

Duffel bags are often associated with military personnel, although many people today don't realize where that association originated.  The earliest versions were actually made for Navy soldiers.  They were adopted by the Navy because they were easy to pack, efficient to travel with and could be stored in the very limited spaces allotted to personnel on Navy ships.

At first their use was almost exclusive to the military.  But within a few years the duffel bag caught on with the civilian public, particularly with the surf culture of Australia and California after World War II.  Surfers liked their ease of use and compactness and adopted them, which in turn popularized them with many average citizens. 

As modes of travel advanced, they started being manufactured for and marketed to the traveling public.  Unlike rigid, square and rectangular-shaped luggage, duffel bags are flexible and can be stuffed into some very tight spaces, like the cargo hold of an airplane, without being damaged or taking up too much space.

Soon they also became popular with athletes, for many of the same reasons.  Manufacturers began putting carry handles on the long sides of the bags rather than at the ends.  Athletes found them ideal for carrying gym gear, clothes, shoes and sports equipment.  They were also easy to stuff inside of a gym locker.

Duffel Bags Today

This iconic bag continues to soar in popularity.  They're still issued to military personnel.  Athletes still carry them to the gym and sports field.  Air travelers like their compactness, especially with so many modern airlines charging extra for transporting luggage.

Today you can see duffel bags just about anywhere you go.  Smaller versions serve as fashionable ladies' purses or diaper bags.  Small versions are also used as shaving and make-up kits and as overnight bags.  Their aerodynamic shape and flexible construction have given the duffel bag a permanent place in history. 

Advertisers can use custom printed duffel bags to appeal to all kinds of different groups, from travelers to athletes to regular citizens.  Imprinted duffel bags with your company's name and logo will become a well-used part of the receiver's travel gear and a long-lasting promotion of your message.

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